Our Coroners

Queensland has seven specialist full-time coroners located in Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and Southport.

A coronial registrar, located in Brisbane, assists the coroners by triaging and investigating less complex matters, such as deaths from natural causes.

All reportable deaths are reported to one of the seven coroners or the coronial registrar, who investigate those deaths that occurred in the area under their jurisdiction (see below).

This doesn’t apply for deaths in custody and as a result of police operations, which are investigated by the state coroner and the deputy state coroner.

If you’re unsure which coroner is handling an investigation, contact the Coroners Court.

Note: All Queensland magistrates are also appointed as coroners and act in that role when required.

State coroner

Current state coroner: Terry Ryan

The state coroner oversees and coordinates the Queensland coronial system to ensure it is administered efficiently and appropriately. The State coroner's guidelines direct other coroners about the conduct of coronial investigations.

Located in Brisbane, the state coroner must investigate deaths in custody and as a result of police operations.

Deputy state coroner and South Eastern coroner

Current deputy state coroner: Jane Bentley

Located in Southport, the deputy state coroner investigates deaths in the Gold Coast area, Beenleigh and Logan.

The deputy state coroner may also investigate deaths in custody and as a result of police operations, and act as the state coroner when required.

Brisbane coroners

Current Brisbane coroners: Christine Clements, James McDougall and Don MacKenzie

Located in Brisbane, these coroners investigate deaths in the Greater Brisbane and Sunshine Coast and South Queensland regions.

Northern coroner

Current northern coroner: Nerida Wilson

Located in Cairns, the Northern coroner investigates deaths in the North Queensland region, which extends from Cairns south to Bowen, west to Mount Isa and north to the Papua New Guinea border.

Central coroner

Current central coroner: David O’Connell

Located in Mackay, the central coroner investigates deaths in the Central Queensland region, which extends from Proserpine and the Whitsundays in the north to Gayndah in the south.

Coronial registrar

Current coronial registrar: Ainslie Kirkegaard

Current deputy registrar: Don Buchanan

Located in Brisbane, the coronial registrars triage and investigate deaths that are reported to police:

  • because a death certificate hasn’t been issued and
  • reviews potentially reportable deaths reported directly by medical practitioners or funeral directors.

The registrars also provides telephone advice to clinicians during business hours on whether a death is reportable. These deaths represent the high volume, less complex range of matters reported to coroners. Refer to the Information for Health Professionals (PDF, 402.0 KB) brochure for further information.

See the contacts for coroners in the five Queensland regions.